Another week of announcements: The long awaited Lightroom 4 Beta is out and can be downloaded over at Adobe Labs for those of you that are willing to accept working in a Beta environment. If you decide to download and install this Beta, please be sure to read all of the fine print associated with the using the Beta (there is always some level of risk in using Beta software, so plan accordingly).
After a fast review of the new features in LR4 (Beta), I can once again say that Adobe has done things right! Several of the new features in LR4B are ones that I have been hoping to see in LR for a long time. The most critical improvements for me include a local development brush that has gone crazy with enhanced adjustments, the ability to create photo books directly from a dedicated module, a wonderful soft proofing capability as well as the ability to match your print brightness and contrast to that of your monitor, tonal adjustment controls are designed to extract the entire dynamic range from cameras for shadow details and highlights, and enhanced support for video including the ability to develop the video. Lastly, there is a wonderful way to now email images directly from Lightroom using any email account, including Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail. All pretty slick, if you ask me. If Adobe sticks to their normal release schedule, I would expect to see LR4 ready to release in late spring or very early summer. Yes, I’ll be standing in line. Meanwhile, spend some time over at Adobe Labs or over at National Association of Photoshop Professionals’ Beta Launch Center.
Cheers and happy photo’ing.